Goodbye Los Angeles, hello to Pacific Coast

Trip Start May 26, 2014
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Trip End Jul 03, 2014


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Where I stayed
Oxford Suites Pismo Beach
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, June 26, 2014

On our last day in LA we traversed the city, across town to Burbank and the Warner Bros. VIP tour. Glad we allowed extra time because it was hard to find - very little signage. We were whisked around the lot, looking at sound stages, sets of current shows, history in the outside street scenes that have appeared in countless movies over the years. There are real trees in the centre square that, if winter is required, the leaves are all hand picked off. We sat on the Friends couch in the coffee shop, walked the Ellen DeGeneres show set, were regaled with interesting film facts (each of the main cast of Friends receives $25m per year from reruns, Warner gets $1billion per year, obscene). Another major exhibit was the 75 years of Batman, all the costumes, cars and bits and pieces.

All in all the tour was great and well worth it to see how the magic is made.

Onto the freeway and we head to the Pacific Highway taking the scenic route northwards. The wonderful beaches at Santa Monica and Malibu in the sunshine, compared to the blizzards in Melbourne, are a lovely site. Hard to get to the sand in Malibu due to the beachfront properties right on the water. The road is bordered by the Pacific Ocean one side, and the rugged Santa Monica mountains on the other. A short drive up to Ventura Beach on the Ventura Highway (cue America on the play list) with a drive around the port and pier and we then arrived late into Santa Barbara, which we will explore tomorrow.

A leisurely start and a drive to the Santa Barbara mission. A lovely old building but we jinxed it again by our visit. Could not see the chapel because of a funeral and could not see the museum because the power was out. Did they not know we had travelled 16000 miles to get here?
Next stop was the magnificent old court house. It was only rebuilt in the 1920's after the original being demolished in an earthquake (the whole of Santa Barbara apparently) but it was rebuilt in the Spanish style. Beautiful mosaics, painted walls, murals,high ceilings, stone floors, beautiful gardens and a cool interior. An electric trolley then took us to Stearn's wharf which is a fishing and retail/restaurant hub of the city. Walk to the end in the sun, lunch watching the large gulls stealing calamari rings from patrons plates and then back to the car for our next port of call.
We drove through the mountains and Los Padres National Forrest to Los Olivos, the wine centre of the Santa Ynez area. All the local wineries had tasting rooms in the town,and other eclectic shops and galleries abounded. We also tried to visit the miniature horses at Quicksilver Ranch but they had closed at three p.m - too bad for them,this missed out on our company. Back onto highway 101 to Pismo Beach which will be our base for the next two days. A balmy evening as we headed to the beach for a walk and dinner, wide open beaches, sunset over the water, birds flying, a gentle breeze blowing - what a nice way to spend the evening. Pismo beach is a large seaside town with vast expanses of sand and many restaurants and beachy type shops playing for the tourist dollar. Great clam chowder as well was had at Brads, next door to the world famous Splash and without the hour wait.

A driving day today to see the local sights. Our first stop is the town of Arroyo Grande which is meant to be a typical example of what an American town used to be, retaining its history and facade. Yeah, maybe we missed something, nice town but nothing special.......Continuing on to San Luis Obispo which is meant to be another highlight, missed that one as well but it was a lovely drive through the mountains and the wineries.

We did find a treasure at Avila Beach, a little seaside town off the highway and hidden in a valley. Two piers and whale watching, as well as plenty of sand and a thriving restaurant community. All types of beach shops as well.

Tonight is a treat - a live show. The American melodrama showing The Song of the Canyon Kid with a strumming cowboy, should be a good laugh even if some what cringeworthy. But, to our delight it was slapstick old style vaudeville show that had laughs a-plenty. The amateur cast were full of life and the show kept us entertained for 2.5 hours.

Friday we head to Cambria to visit Hearst Castle on Saturday.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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Comments

Chris B on

I loved Santa Monica and those beaches are really spectacular.
Very envious of your trip up the coast, I took a local bus for a bit of a cruise from Santa Monica and it is gorgeous .
Lucky you having a bit of time in the area.
Loved the post card
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